Quite why it has taken this long for anyone to realise that Manchester United have not qualified for the Champions League is anyone’s guess, but credit to the Daily Mail for finally noticing. They say that United’s failure to eat at Europe’s top table next season will predictably impact on their transfer plans.
To start with, no Champions League football ‘has put a big dent in their hopes’ to sign Jadon Sancho. The deal is ‘in tatters’ as the winger would quite understandably rather remain in the competition. And with Dortmund already reluctant to sell, the chances of him leaving for United ‘are now rated as ‘doubtful”.
He was only named their transfer priority about a month and a half ago – when Champions League qualification was far from a certainty. Bloody weirdos.
So that frees up the £100m that United set aside to sign Sancho. ESPN FC expect them to spend twice as much this summer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants ‘at least one addition in defence, midfield and attack,’ so should probably have a look at this feature before he makes any rash decisions. And the spend is ‘set to total more than £200m in transfer fees’.
With Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Matteo Darmian, Juan Mata, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia all linked with exits, the only name ESPN offer in terms of an arrival is a familiar one: Ser Harry of House Maguire. United ‘were priced out of a move’ by Leicester last summer, with the Foxes demanding at least £80m. ‘But there is hope he can be prised away’ by a club in desperate need of leadership.
Gary Neville namedropped Maguire in his lengthy deconstruction of United earlier this week. He will be happy.
IN FOR THE KYL
It has nothing to do with any Premier League sides or a Premier League player, but a gossip column would not be a gossip column without bring you speculation regarding a world-record move. France Football have news of ‘the ridiculous offer’ Real Madrid are preparing for Kylian Mbappe.
With Zinedine Zidane convinced that moves for Paul Pogba and Eden Hazard ‘are essentially done’, Real could now present an offer to PSG that would be ‘practically impossible’ to refuse. How does €280m (£240.4m) sound?
France Football then have the temerity to tell us that ‘PSG won’t sell their star man for any price,’ although they admit that ‘selling him would allow them to remove the shadow of FFP hanging over their head’. And then some.
We have just one question: where in the holy heck are Real Madrid getting all this money from? Ah, okay…
AND THE REST
Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, 28, is considering handing in a transfer request to force through a move to Real Madrid… The Blues have already rejected two bids from Real for Belgium international Hazard… Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will once again attempt to sign Spain midfielder Marco Asensio, 23, from Real Madrid… Manchester City are hopeful Belgium centre-back Vincent Kompany, 33, will stay at the club by signing a one-year contract extension… Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi’s recovery from an Achilles tendon injury is going better than expected and German giants Bayern Munich are monitoring the 18-year-old England international’s progress… Barcelona still have work to do if they are to secure a deal for Ajax’s 19-year-old Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt after the player’s agent put forward new demands… Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has ruled out Roma as his next club… Roma could instead offer current Blues boss Maurizio Sarri the chance to return to Italy this summer… Fulham’s Dutch winger Ryan Babel, 32, is set for a move to Turkish side Galatasaray on a free transfer… Newcastle United’s English midfielder Isaac Hayden, 24, is determined to leave the club this summer, having failed to force a move away last August.